Sunday, December 20, 2009

2010 MINI Crossman: New Spy Shots of Five-Door Crossover

The highly anticipated MINI Crossman (bear in mind that it could be named Crossover or something entirely different) has been out testing again and our spy photographers where on spot to capture it red handed. While the prototype models continue to wear the full body psychedelic camouflage, these latest scoop photos give us a better view of the car. Changes from the more avant-garde Crossover Concept seen at the 2008 Paris motorshow include the replacement of the complicated asymmetric doors with conventionally hinged rear doors and a normal liftgate (don't let the disguise fool you into believing that it features Clubman-style split rear doors) instead of the concept's huge side-hinged door.

The Crossman, which is larger than the Clubman, will be first production MINI to measure more than 4 meters in length. Expect its exterior dimensions to be similar to the concept measuring around 4,050mm (159.5-in.) in length, 1,830mm (72.0-in.) in width and 1,598mm (62.9-in.) in height.

Even though this has not been officially confirmed, it is believed that the Crossman is loosely based on BMW's upcoming X1 SUV with the two crossovers sharing the same platform and plenty of technology including the Bavarian firm's all-wheel drive system dubbed 'xDrive'. From the photos it is evident that the Crossman features an increased ground clearance which should help bolster its (soft) off-road credentials.

From what we understand, MINI will offer the Crossman with a mix of new and currently available four-cylinder diesel and gasoline engines, the latter in both naturally aspirated and turbocharged forms.

Notably, it will be built the first MINI to be built outside the UK at Magna Steyr's factory in Austria as the British automaker's Cowley plant does not have sufficient capacity to handle production. The Crossman is expected to arrive in MINI showrooms sometime during the second half of 2010.

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